City Mask Mandate Ends June 1st
Following new CDC guidelines, city will allow its health order to expire.
Mayor Tom Barrett announced that the City of Milwaukee would allow its COVID-19 health order and mask mandate to expire on June 1st.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines stating that individuals that have been fully vaccinated can resume pre-pandemic activities without wearing a mask.
Last week, city officials announced they would be revising the health order to eliminate nearly all the restrictions, except for the mask mandate, on June 15th. But just a few hours later, that same day, the CDC announced their updated masking guidance.
“From the outset, I have been very, very proud and I have pledged that I would follow the science and the evidence,” Barrett said.
The mayor said the reason the order would expire June 1st, and not immediately, was so that local businesses, schools, stores and event spaces would have some time to work out their own masking requirements.
“These businesses, these establishments, they know their client base, their customer base, their user base better than anyone,” Barrett said. “And we all know that the CDC’s announcement was very much a surprise announcement.”
Barrett urged city residents to show respect for others and for businesses when it comes to masking preferences and requirements. “If a store says its patrons should wear a mask, we all need to respect that. This is about respect, it’s pretty basic stuff.”
Ben Weston, director of medical services for Milwaukee County, said, “The fact of the matter is that the science behind the guidelines change is solid.”
He said 150 million people in the U.S. have received the vaccine, and that the data from that population continues to support that all the vaccines are nearly 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Also, vaccinated people have a “low-likelihood” of transmitting the virus, even if they do become infected.
“So if anyone is looking for proof about the effectiveness of these vaccinations, it’s staring you right in the face and it is the reason the CDC has revamped its views,” he said
Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said for the next two weeks the department would focus less on enforcing the mask mandate with fines and more on education.
She also clarified that fully vaccinated is defined as anyone who is two weeks past their final shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, or two weeks past their single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Even with the new guidelines, Weston said it is important to consider the community at large, saying it is still appropriate to wear a mask in situations where it can’t be known whether everyone is vaccinated or not. He also noted that children under the age of 12 are still ineligible for the vaccine and should continue to wear a mask in public.
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- COVID-19 vaccination clinic and meal giveaway to occur June 23 - Common Council President Cavalier Johnson - Jun 21st, 2021
- Supervisor Coggs-Jones and Community Huddle to Host COVID-19 Vaccination Drive - Sup. Priscilla E Coggs-Jones - Jun 21st, 2021
- MKE County: COVID-19 Cases at Historic Low - Graham Kilmer - Jun 18th, 2021
- DHS Now Tracking SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern B.1.617.2, the Delta Variant - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Jun 16th, 2021
- Milwaukee Health Department to Host Second Vaccine Clinic on June 17 - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Jun 15th, 2021
- State High Court Blocks School Closures - Erik Gunn - Jun 12th, 2021
- MKE County: Child COVID-19 Vaccination Rate Rising - Graham Kilmer - Jun 11th, 2021
- City of Milwaukee Weekly COVID-19 Update - City of Milwaukee Health Department - Jun 11th, 2021
- DHS Community-Based Vaccination Clinics to Begin Ramping Down Operations - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Jun 11th, 2021
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